Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees

Keith G. Boman, M.D.

Keith G. Boman, M.D.

A native of southern Nevada, Dr. Keith Boman is a noted cardiologist who was named one of the best doctors in the city by Las Vegas Life magazine. He planned and implemented the first automatic defibrillator program in casinos in 1997 which subsequently became the standard for all casinos. Dr. Boman’s lifelong commitment to providing compassionate and professional care to his patients from all walks of life also extends well beyond his medical practice. With a passion for both his community and the arts, Dr. Boman helped found The Meadows School in Summerlin, and was one of the visionaries and leading proponents to see The Smith Center in downtown Las Vegas come to its fruition. Featuring a diverse blend of performances from local art groups to world-renowned stars and Broadway shows, The Smith Center is a superb cultural arts establishment that exemplifies the merge of both community and performing arts. The “Boman Pavillion” is named in Dr. Boman’s honor for his 15 years of dedication to the project, which was completed in March 2012. Dr. Boman has served for 20 years as a trustee for the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a prestigious charitable organization created by the late media group owner, which has distributed over 1.8 billion dollars to charitable projects. The foundation has made substantial grants in honor of Dr. Boman and his years of dedicated service as a trustee. Recently, The Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV was the recipient of a $250,000 grant. The funds helped to purchase technology to enhance the Judy Bayley Theatre, supported several guest artists-in-residence, and financed the Fall 2014 production of The Last Five Years to which Dr. Boman served as the executive producer. The foundation also awarded a $500,000 challenge grant, made in recognition of Dr. Boman’s 20 years of service on the Board, to the Super Summer Theatre located at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park in Nevada. The grant will enable several capital improvements such as new theatrical and sound equipment, landscaping, concession stand and lighting booth renovations, as well as to secure a ten-year maintenance reserve fund. Not only has Dr. Boman been a long-time supporter of Super Summer Theatre, he also serves as a member on the theatre’s advisory board.

Keith Boman speaking at a podium

Success and passion are evident in Dr. Keith Boman’s profession and projects. His commitment to community and the arts is further reinforced with his involvement with the Nevada Ballet Theatre, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Las Vegas Music Festival, as well as the advisory council of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

When asked what he is most proud of during his 34 years of practice in Las Vegas, he immediately responds The Smith Center and raising his three successful children: Allison, Jeffrey, and David.

Gary Nelson

Gary Nelson

When legendary film director John Ford was preparing to shoot one of his greatest movies, The Searchers, he needed to approve wardrobe for his actors, but one was unavailable, so a young assistant director, with the same build as the actor, was sent to try on the costume instead. As Mr. Ford worked the shape of the hat, he complimented his new assistant director on his looks and asked if he wanted to be an actor. When the young man said, “no,” Mr. Ford was surprised. He said he’d made an actor out of “Duke,” meaning John Wayne, and he’d done a good job with that, hadn’t he? The young man agreed but, again, resisted Mr. Ford’s offer to make him an actor. The multiple Oscar-winner director wanted to know, then, just what did the young man want to do? Gary Nelson, all of nineteen years old, looked this master of cinema right in the eye and said, “I want to be a director.”

Gary Nelson followed through on that declaration to become one of the most prolific directors in history. Gary’s rise in the profession happened to coincide with the rise of television and he would demonstrate mastery of comedies, westerns, gritty cop dramas, mini-series, family dramas, and feature motion pictures.

Gary’s move from a working assistant director to taking directorial reigns came from a bit of negotiation from a beautiful actress, Judi Meredith. Judi, a former figure skater, came to the public’s attention as the spunky and cute love interest for the son on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. Becoming much sought after as a guest star on various television series, Judi had also developed a romantic interest in Gary, who was the assistant director on the show, Have Gun, Will Travel. Judi offered to appear on that series, for free, if they hired Gary to direct an episode. The plan worked and his first directing credit was an episode of Have Gun, Will Travel with Richard Boone, of course, playing Palladin in the lead role. The leading lady was Judi and she would become Gary’s leading lady in real life.

Judi shifted her career from acting to raising and caring for their two sons, Blue and Garrett. She was ferociously supportive of Gary as his career took off and he became one of the “go-to” directors in the golden age of television. Their marriage was one of mutual love and support and remained intensely so until Judi passed away in April of 2014.

Judi once stated she could never remember a time when there wasn’t an open script on their dining room table, which was a reflection of work that came Gary’s way as his reputation grew. From the early Westerns, Gary branched into comedy including Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, The Doris Day Show, and many others. Working on the anthology series, Love, American Style, Gary directed a segment entitled Love and the Happy Days which became the pilot of the series, Happy Days.

The shows McMillan and Wife and Kojak marked a move for Gary into directing police dramas, most notably high-lighted by his work on the tough, ground-breaking series, Police Story. It was at this period in television history that the mini-series had become popular and Gary was very much a part of this wave, directing every minute of the twelve-and-a-half hour mini-series, Washington, Behind Closed Doors. This was an unprecedented feat that has never been duplicated. He, alone, directed a 900 page script, working solidly for a calendar year. He filmed during the week and prepped and scouted locations on weekends. The location scout van always included room for Judi and the boys. In its first run, Washington, Behind Closed Doors, was one of the highest rated mini-series of all time. No less a famous director than Stanley Kubrick cited Washington, Behind Closed Doors as one of his favorite television series.

Gary continued to work on television and feature movies, series pilots, series, and mini-series before calling it a wrap producing and directing the series, Early Edition, shot entirely in Chicago. The list of stars who’ve worked with Gary’s direction is a pantheon of recent acting history from Richard Boone, Brian Keith, Sir John Geilgud, John Houseman, Glenn Ford, Peter Ustinov, Omar Sharif, Jane Seymour, Cloris Leachman, Barbara Harris, Jack Warden, Helen Hunt, Alan Ruck, Mel Brooks, Ruth Gordon, Stacy Keach, Anthony Perkins, Eli Wallach, Johnny Cash, Beau Bridges, Charles Durning, Robert Vaughn, Teri Garr, Jason Robards, Pierce Brosnan, Jodie Foster, Tony Curtis, Richard Chamberlain, Maximillan Schell, Vera Miles, Rock Hudson, Goldie Hawn, Robert Vaughn, Kyle Chandler and so many more.

When one considers the volume of Gary’s work over a variety of genres through the decades on television and in movies one fact becomes evident: the majority of Americans with televisions have, at one time or another, seen Gary Nelson’s work.

Gary Nelson standing on a UNLV stage wearing a tuxedo

Upon completion of his first feature movie, a Western, Gary was contacted by the great John Ford, who asked to screen Gary’s film. A screening was arranged and the old master expressed his approval and was pleased that the young assistant director was now blazing his own trail.

Decades later, Gary Nelson, has become an “old master” himself, helping mentor and teach another young generation of filmmakers. He is a much-respected fixture in the classes of the Department of Film at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Paul Curtis Steelman

Paul Curtis Steelman smiling and sitting down in a suit

Paul Steelman, a native of Atlantic City, NJ is recognized as a visionary designer of global entertainment, hospitality, and gaming architecture. Mr. Steelman has designed buildings for the mavericks of the gaming industry including Kirk Kerkorian, Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson, and Stanley Ho.

Based in Las Vegas, NV, Steelman Partners is an international architectural firm specializing in the multi-disciplinary facets of entertainment architecture, interior design, graphic design, lighting, and branding. The company has offices in Macau and Zhuhai, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and in Amsterdam, Holland. Renowned completed projects include: Four Seasons Macau, Sands Macau, Galaxy Macau, The Grand Ho Tram, Solaire Manila, Venetian Macau master plan and Cotai Central master plan, as well as Lost City and Caesars in South Africa.

Steelman Partners owns and operates several other design companies: DSAA (interior design), MARQI (branding and corporate identity), Hyperion Dynamic (energy design), Inviro Studios (film animations), shop12 (lighting, theater, ride and attraction design) and Steelman Development (owns commercial real estate properties in Nevada and California).

Mr. Steelman was honored as the 2010 SARNO Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and received the 2006 HOSPY Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been featured in many publications and visual media, including Forbes Magazine “Designing for Dough” and the Oceans 13 DVD (The Opulent Illusion).

Paul Curtis Steelman speaking behind a UNLV podium

Mr. Steelman serves on the board of directors for The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in Las Vegas, The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation in New York, and The Clemson School of Architecture at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Mr. Steelman is an avid skier and sailor. He spends much of his free time in Mammoth Lakes, California. He has been married to Maryann for 33 years. They have two children Stephen, 30 (a movie actor) and Suzanne, 28 (a recent Architectural Graduate School Alumna from Clemson University).

Jack A. Rappaport

Jack A Rappaport Portrait

This years Dean's Medal is awarded to Jack A. Rappaport.

Mr. Rappaport has 35+ years of commercial real estate experience. Moving to Las Vegas in 1965 and receiving his real estate license in 1978, he began work for a local, family-owned real estate firm.

In 1997, Mr. Rappaport formed R&R Commercial Real Estate Services, a full-service commercial real estate firm. With an emphasis on tenant and buyer representation, he focuses particularly in the areas of retail, office and industrial properties on behalf of many local, regional and national clients.

Jack A. Rappaport Speaking into a microphone on a UNLV stage

Mr. Rappaport is president of the Rappaport Foundation, a non-profit foundation founded to encourage and foster the creative and performing arts in Southern Nevada. One of the primary beneficiaries of the Rappaport Foundation is “Introduction to the Arts,” focusing primarily on Southern Nevada students, offering free admission to a variety of events in the UNLV Performing Arts Center. For his work with “Introduction to the Arts” he was presented a Distinguish Service Medal by former Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Cram. Mr. Rappaport also served as president of the Las Vegas Music Festival and was responsible for securing major guest artists/teachers such as violin virtuosos Hilary Hahn and Charles Castleman. He is currently a member and past chair of the College of Fine Arts Advisory Committee.

Mr. Rappaport has served as president of the Southern Nevada CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Chapter, vice president of Region II, chairman of Regional Activities Committee and member of the Governing Council for the CCIM Institute.

Joe Aldridge

Joe Aldridge wearing a collared red UNLV shirt and leaning against a ladder

Joe Aldridge received his MA in Theatre and was initially employed at UNLV from 1974 to 1977. He returned in 1984 to serve as technical director until 2005 when he accepted the position of coordinator for the newly-formed UNLV Entertainment Engineering and Design program.

During his tenure at UNLV, Mr. Aldridge has been involved in producing more than 200 shows with the Theatre Department and has mentored students in all aspects of theatre production. It is this commitment to safety and technical theatre innovation that separates Mr. Aldridge from anyone else in the business of technical theatre.

Mr. Aldridge is past president of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the most prestigious technical theatre membership organization in the world. He serves as the chair of the Nevada Resort Association/IATESE Local 720 Journeyman Training Trust which offers training to Las Vegas area stagehands. In 2014, he earned a second Bachelor of Arts degree from the National Labor College.

Joe Aldridge in a tuxedo speaking behind a UNLV podium

Mr. Aldridge also served as the artistic director for Shakespeare under the Stars at the Emily Ann Theatre in Wimberley, Texas. This innovative program affords high school students the chance to learn all aspects of theatre in a summer-stock environment. He assists with safety training and OSHA compliance for the ICAP (IATSE Candidate Advancement Program), a national safety and skills training program.

Through his work in education, both locally and nationally, he is well-known by his students, and admired for his warmth and desire to mentor.